BOAZ, Ala. - The City of Boaz celebrated veterans Monday morning at the first-ever Veteran's Day ceremony at Old Mill Park.
“It’s great to see from smallest child to oldest person out here to pass on those traditions and honor the sacrifices,” said Boaz VFW Jimmy Harris Post 6837 Commander John Tuck.
Boaz Mayor David Dyar was in attendance showing his support of local veterans.
“It’s an honor to be able to recognize those that served our country and willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice, so we shouldn’t honor them just one time a year, it should be an everyday thing,” said Dyar.
He told WHNT News 19 that it is important to start educating children about the veterans’ sacrifices at a young age.
“I believe we lost, over 50,000 men and women in the Vietnam War, who left a mom, a dad, a cousin, a child behind. I didn’t realize that at 17, so we have to do a better job of recognizing that and appreciating their efforts,” added Dyar.
Keynote speaker Army Lieutenant Colonel Allin Whittle focused his speech on patriotism and national issues and initiatives.
“We have to continue taking care of those folks as far as healthcare, as far as mental health, as far as employment and giving them the opportunity to succeed in life,” said Whittle.
One specifically being women veterans’ healthcare, which is already being addressed in Alabama.
Tuck explained that there is now a mandate for at least one women's health certified provider in each VA clinic in the state
Whittle said there is always work to be done, but for now, to see little ones join with older community members is a wonderful tribute to all who have served and are currently serving.